Fishing report for lakes and rivers in and around Marion County


Crystal River/Homosassa

Captain William Toney writes that there are plenty of live bait on Big Bend that he likes to use. Shrimp is the most common live bait and is purchased at most tackle shops. Pinfish would be next in line for inshore and offshore fishing. The pinfish that Toney uses, he catches where he fishes. He uses a small hook that he keeps on a spare rod just for this purpose. A small piece of shrimp is enough to get them. Most areas have some sort of grass around which pinfish will roam around, sometimes it’s so thick it looks like twinkling stars on the flats as the tide comes in. Mud minnows are another great inshore bait, and Toney catches them the same way as pinfish but the location is different. Needle grass shores inside streams and small creeks are where you can find them. Some areas are accessible by car like Ozello Trail or Ft. Island Trail.

The good thing about a mud minnow is that it lasts for days with minimal water or a good livewell, so the day before you go fishing you can catch bait with just a bit of effort. . One of the best pike baits in the area is filiform herring or whitebait. Being the last week to keep a slot-sized snook, threadfin is the ace up your sleeve to catch one, because snook can’t resist them as has been proven since the early 80s in Tampa Bay. As our area has changed with more snook, there are a few places to catch threadfin with sabikis. The closest coastal location is the old scallop trap which is west of Gomez Rocks or between St. Martins Keys and the Crystal River Channel. A decent life pit is a must as these are not sturdy baits and need to be handled with care. The rising high tide will be late afternoon this weekend.

The 38th Annual Cobia Big Fish Tournament will take place June 4-5. It will take place at Crumps Landing in Homosassa. To visit

Last report:Area fishing report for lakes and rivers in and around Marion County

Outside:Boat launch and Marion County Park in Orange Lake to undergo nearly $2 million in renovations

Orange Lake/Lochloosa

To visit for updates.

Ocklawaha River

Liz at Fat Daddy reports that a lot of bass has been biting lately. Larger ones are usually caught using wild and domestic minnows. There are also plenty of points caught with minnows and jigs.

salt springs

According to Liz from Fat Daddy’s, anglers have had a lot of success lately catching bass and speckles. The baits of choice have generally been minnows and jigs for speckles. Larger bass are caught with both wild and domestic minnows.

Forest lakes

Liz at Fat Daddy reports that most anglers are looking for specks and bass lately. Minnows and jigs have been the bait of choice for specks, domestic and wild minnows for bass.

Weir Lake

Liz at Fat Daddy reports that a lot of points have been bitten lately, with minnows and jigs being the most commonly used bait. Anglers have also had great success with bass, and the main bait of choice has been minnow.

Harris Chain

According to, bass can often be found here in open water. Canals sometimes have them too. Many catches often weigh between nine and 11 pounds. Spots have also been found here since the weather cooled the water.

Entrance Ponce

According to, redfish bit all over Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach. Most large male rockfish weigh over 20 pounds, with some weighing up to 40 pounds. Many snook were also caught at New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet, most using live bait, but some using soft plastics. Generally, the nose foot was between 26 and 34 inches. Several 50 to 75 pound tarpon were also caught at New Smyrna Beach. Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon have good water clarity for sight casting.

Redfish, black drum, speckled trout, snook, juvenile tarpon – all were more active around the various ends of the cold fronts. That’s how things will play out until the end of April, as anglers adapt where they fish and what they target around passing cold fronts.

Tip of the week

According to, any experienced fisherman will tell you that to catch a fish, you have to think like him. Bass spent most of their winter days feeding in deep waters. In early spring, they will begin to move to places that warm up quickly. They are eager to spawn and set up their nests in shallow water, especially in structured places. This means looking for fallen trees, grass, rocks, water lilies – anything that can act as cover. It can sometimes be hard to spot these places, but with the right electronics or a little research, you can find a real price.

Remember that bass are always on the run and can get unpredictable, especially if the weather is fickle. One day can be all bite and fight. Come to the same place the next day, and you’re skunk. You need to be patient and experiment with fishing. As a general rule, fish with faster lures and models on warm spring days and swap them out for slower baits on colder days.


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